By Mahnoor Arif
This Ramadan started off with a trail of memories from the past as Facebook reminded me that last year, this was a time when I was immersed in countless (a bit exaggerated, though) projects, assignments reports and … My Final Year Project. Yes! I was graduating.
Most of us know the struggle of universities, the toil you have to go through, and the feeling that all those 16 years of your life are closing down upon you now as you make your way through the continuous daily grind but the struggle just doesn’t seem to be getting over. Last Ramadan had been all about this, when the announcement of the moon of Ramadan being sighted didn’t matter because the moon of Final FINAL exams of Engineering had been sighted with it as well. Even when the final exams were over, FYP (final year project) was staring right in our eyes with all its glory ready to consume all the little energies left. Last Ramadan was all about finalizing reports, testing, circuits, presentations, and all you can expect from a graduating engineering student. But it did come with its feeling of accomplishment, the feeling that its finally over after 16 years of stress and mental breakdowns.
A year ago, it felt like accomplishing a lot. It felt like being successful finally. It was finally a time when I could raise my head high and say that I have made my parents proud by getting a degree in engineering from a prestigious university with amazing grades and you can definitely say that after all those years of getting a formal education.
Little did I know that I will be introduced to a whole new meaning of success later on.
This year, I enrolled myself in a year-long Quran course (that includes explanation of the Quran cover to cover plus many other related subjects) and that was the beginning of an all new phase of my life. Before I got introduced to the true spirit of our religion through Quran, it seemed like life is all good. Whatever little I know is fine. A few lectures here and there, some dawah projects, some classes and all done! But my first class introduced me to life as we never know it. It felt like a blind person getting to see for the first time.
All my life, I had excelled at my studies, learning those formulas, solving those equations with perfection, researching about a particular phenomenon, designing circuits, encoding and decoding but the meaning of one word ‘Al-Aleem’ belittled it all. We casually translate it as The All-Knowing but do we know what that means? He knows whatever is inside you or even whatever is building up inside you, He knows what you show outside and He even knows what your heart desires. He presents the example of a visible mosquito and even knows about the parasite invisible to our eyes that lives on the wing of that mosquito. Our knowledge compared to His is like a drop in an ocean or even lesser than that. What was I proud of?
The meaning of the word ‘Hikmat’ turned my life upside down as I always thought that I am a person who has done things at the right moment in her life but No! The word opens a new world of good decision making, time management, stress management, family relations and basically putting anything into perspective in your life which made me realize that I have never excelled at all of them simultaneously.
The meaning of ‘Ash-Shaakir’ put me into thought for days because I have never thanked Him enough for all the countless blessings that He has given me and He is rather appreciative of whatever little good that we do. Just let that sink in! He appreciates whatever we do and we haven’t ever been grateful enough.
SubhanAllah! Quran is filled with eye-openers like that where you feel like THIS IS WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR!! OH MY GOD!! THIS IS ABOUT ME!! It has been less than 30 days and only 2 juz but there has been an immense sea of wisdom in the little that I have studied. And comparison of my previous year and this time of the year leaves me in extreme love for The Lord Who gave me the opportunity not only to study His beautiful Book but to perceive it as well, to understand it and to apply it or at least try to.
Just as I graduated a year ago, I imagine the day when I will be completing all 30 juz and the amazing miracles that will come with it. It will surely be a graduation of its kind where efforts will have been spent understanding root words and their analysis, where throats will be parched practising tajweed lessons and where sleep will be managed in order to learn translation lessons. As Allah rightly says in Quran, ‘For each is a direction toward which it faces.’ [2:148], there was a direction then and there is a direction now! Rightly put into perspective!
And the beauty of this journey is that it will never be over. The course will end but the lessons will continue, the knowledge gained will increase with passing life as our final purpose is not to gain but to apply and spread to attain our ultimate goal in the hereafter and what is our ultimate goal, you may ask? It is to see His face which will make us forget all about that ever bothered us, all that ever pleased or displeased us, all that ever worried us and all that we had to go through. Imagine that moment!
How can you get there? This is a month of spiritual high when everyone is trying to make the most out of it but attaining Allah’s pleasure is a life long goal.
CHALLENGE: Enrol yourself in something similar, pledge to understand His Book, find a regular course near you which helps you get on this journey. Make dua for it and make an effort because every moment and every bit of energy spent towards getting closer to Him will count and will bring with it lots of barakah (blessings). Make it your intention and Allah will definitely make a way for you. This is a never ending journey and you just have to keep working towards it. One day, you will get there inshaAllah.
May Allah make us of the people who understand His Book with zeal, act upon it and spread it like a light that is for everyone and everywhere. Ameen.
I have been through something very very similar. You are very right, the moment you start learning Islam and Allah’s book you literally feel like you’ve known nothing before, your perspective about everything changes. It really does feel like seeing for the first time.
Jazak Allah, may Allah guide us all and help us in following his deen.